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Police: Resident Set Fire to Personal Care Facility

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — A personal care home in Lycoming County had to find another place for its 30 residents to stay after a fire broke out in one of the r...
lewis martz

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT -- A personal care home in Lycoming County had to find another place for its 30 residents to stay after a fire broke out in one of the rooms -- a fire authorities believe was set by one of the residents.

The yellow tape that covers the front door of Insinger's Care Home won't come down until damage from a fire is cleaned up. The fire happened Wednesday night in South Williamsport.

"Fortunately from our end, it was a fire where the sprinkler system did what it was supposed to do and put the fire out very quickly,” said Chief Robert Hetner.

Hours after the fire was put out, South Williamsport police charged Lewis Martz, 41, with arson.

"The fire was set in his room," said Chief Hetner. "We had some fire to bedding area, to the pillow and then the fire worked its way up the window."

Police Chief Robert Hetner tells us Martz lives at Insinger's, a care home where people can come and go as they please, but get the extra help they need.

According to police, Martz had several lighters and books of matches in his pockets. Martz admitted to police he set the fire on purpose, telling them the idea just popped into his head.

"He set the fire because he simply didn't want to be there anymore and apparently for him, this is what he thought was the answer."

After the fire some of the 30-plus residents who live at Insinger's stayed overnight at the First Ward Fire Company in South Williamsport.

"They realized they need to get the people that were in the building out of the weather. It was cold and chilly here last night,” said John West.

Chief of First Ward Fire Company in South Williamsport, John West stopped by Insinger's to see when residents might be able to come back.

"They hope to shoot for this afternoon maybe mid to late to get them back in,” said West.

Martz is expected back in court later this month.